Should you buy an iPad 2?

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Well, if you don’t already have an iPad or was waiting until it “got good,” then yes. But what if you already have one? What does the iPad 2 have that might make it a good upgrade?

I received my iPad 2 the other day. And it is a big improvement over the original. First, it is lighter. While on measures it doesn’t seem that big a deal, it is over some ‘threshold’ from heavy to comfortable. Second, the screen is better. It’s no Retina display but you can notice it. Third, it is faster. Much faster. Applications load quicker and everything seems more responsive. Finally, the smart cover is very cool. It is an engineering marvel and works well.

But that is it. Last year I wrote that having a camera on an iPad was pretty silly. It is still pretty silly. For taking pictures, the camera is crap. And on Skype (which still doesn’t have a native iPad app), people are looking up your nose. Apple put the cameras in because they could and so that it was just one less thing competitors could differentiate themselves on.

Last year I also wrote about the 10 things about the original iPad we would laugh about. Let’s see how we are tracking now.They were:

  1. The weight: Its about 1 kg now, a great achievement, but it is much heavier than say, the standard Kindle. We will pick it up in a few years and not believe how much of a brick it was.
  2. The icons: The launch icons are hard to find on both the iPad and iPhone. The concept was a victim of not understanding the potential of apps. There are surely better ways. That said, after a couple of days of the iPad, I find the iPhones icons cramped.
  3. No multi-tasking: On the iPhone that was something we could deal with but if you really want to get some work done on the iPad, having multiple applications open at the one time is what will make it a laptop substitute.
  4. Lack of native Google Apps: Who knows what is holding that up? Well, I reckon we have a few guesses.
  5. Web page design for 19 inch monitors or above: this is not an iPad thing but our monitors for viewing the web grew but now consumers are likely to want something smaller. In the meantime, those large web pages will look strange.
  6. No over the air syncing: With all this connectivity we still need to plug in a cable.
  7. No cloud backups: So they want you to work on documents but the backup to the cloud isn’t automatic?
  8. No brightness button: We should have the option to use the volume controls to control brightness. Carrying the iPad around in variable light, it is clear you want to adjust.
  9. No wireless output to large screen monitors and projectors: This should replace tablets for presentations. But there seems little reason why we need to lug around the big, VGA cable.
  10. Front facing camera: I can see this being important in terms of talking to people although it is hardly a must right now.

So we have 1, 3, 8 (it is now in the launch bar) and 10. We also have towards 4, 5 (just view this blog on an iPad!), 7 (there is DropBox integration all over the place now) and 9 (at least for videos). So it is getting there; perhaps at a faster rate than anyone imagined.

One Response to "Should you buy an iPad 2?"
  1. I can’t see “native” Google Apps happening.  The whole point of Google Apps is that they run in the browser – from Google’s point of view, if that isn’t working properly for you then what you need is simply a better browser.

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